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Young Carers Awareness Day , 23/01/17 [W]

On Young Carers Awareness Day, held on 26 January 2017, Children in Wales  is joining the Carers Trust and other organisations to call for more awareness of the challenges faced by young people with caring responsibilities.

Young Carers Awareness Day is an opportunity to help raise the profile of the children and young people all across Wales who support a family member who is disabled, ill or has a problem with alcohol or drugs. The aim of the day is to help people to understand how difficult it can be for young carers to realise their hopes and dreams for the future unless they have the right support in place.

This year’s theme is ‘When I grow up’ and it’s all about helping young carers to achieve their ambitions in life.

It is impossible to know how many young carers there are in Wales, as most remain unknown to school or college staff, and often to friends. The Carers Trust estimates that the average age of young carers is 12.

Children in Wales recently worked with young carers from North Wales and they had a number of messages that they wanted to make public.

Support and awareness

  • Young carers want to campaign for awareness of the role they undertake and support for the responsibilities they bear.
  • “You have to put the person you care for first and before yourself.”
  • “You need someone you trust to look after the person you care for while you are away, so you can put your min at rest.”
  • “Working roles and job opportunities are affected by caring role.”

Health

Young carers feel they should be recognised by doctors, so they can make appointments, attend appointments with the person they care for and be able to pick up medication.

Young carers want young person friendly information from doctors about:

  • Side effects of medication.
  • What to do and what not to do.
  • How to manage a number of medications safely.
  • How to manage allergies.
  • “Doctors need to understand that Young Carers need to be allowed to sit in on appointments, and they should be able to pick up medication.”

Education

  • Young Carers believe that schools should develop policies to support young carers, all school staff need training to identify Young Carers.
  • School need to be mindful of absences’ due to caring role.

Lynne Hill, Policy Director at Children in Wales, said: “In an ideal world, children and young people would never have to ask for such support as the help would be there for them, but it is not. We know there are young carers all across Wales undertaking a wide range of caring tasks, that impact on their education, health, social life, well-being and future opportunities. Young Carers need support to be able to access the same things that their peers are able to, knowing that the person they care for is safe and cared for when they are out.”

Contact:

To find out more or to arrange an interview, please contact Lynne Hill on 029 2034 2434 or email lynne.hill@childreninwales.org.uk.

Notes:

  1. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for people who work with children and young people in Wales. Our core aim is to contribute towards making the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) a reality in Wales.
  2. You can find more information about our work with young carers on our website at http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/our-work/young-carers/
  3. You can find out more about Young Carers Awareness Day at https://carers.org/young-carers-awareness-day.